Developing the Messenger Dog concept

Welcome back to Matt Cottam, teacher of the second part of the GUI course.

He came here with his expert in technology from Tellart, Brian Hinch, in order to make us learn how to use an IPod or IPhone to prototype graphical user interfaces, using both Dashcode and Nada Mobile, the last one being a particular set of tools developed at Tellart to interact with your dashcode application onto either an IPod or IPhone.

The brief Matt gave us was really interesting and challenging: thinking about the hearthquake in Haiti, assuming no internet, phone network is available, we needed to develop a project for that particular situation using the IPod or IPhone as our platform. Of course, we needed to think about it not as a hyper connected phone, but as a hackable device full of sensors and technology that we could misuse or twist.

The way of thinking at the IPod or IPhone in this way quite suits me, since that was the first time for me to touch both of them. I know, I come from the Ice Age…but I am like that. ūüôā

Anyway, the first assignment from Matt was to team up in group and come up with a scenario.

My team was composed by Mary and Li. After a brainstorm, we agreed on focusing on one particular idea among the many: the Messenger Dog.

Here it is hour first draft of the scenario. We would develop it further during the course with Matt and Brian.

This is day 1 after the disaster happened.
There are no streets to go through, no way to make phone calls and basically it is impossible at the moment to communicate with people that are displaced in other places of the destroyed city. When the disaster happened, Laura was in the city center and fortunately she recovered in the open space of the main square with other people, where after a couple of hours she received help from the rescuers. Since the disaster happened, Laura has no news from her sister Silvia who at the time of the earthquake was at work in the next district. Laura is really worried, she hopes that nothing bad could have happened and would like to get in contact with her as soon as possible. The Messanger Dogs can help Laura to send her message and spread it among the displaced persons in the city and the camps, hopefully reaching Silvia.
The Messanger Dogs wear a particular uniform to identify them and a collar with a device that can record video and audio messages, and tags messages with the geolocation and time when the message was taken. The Messanger Dogs are spread around the catastrophe area both to collect messages from persons met casually along the way and to let them browse the messages for a message addressed to them. At the end of the day, the Messanger Dogs come back to their assigned camp, where all the video and audio messages are downloaded to a device accessible to all the people in that area. Volunteers carrying materials from one camp to another will also carry and spread the messages among the camps, so that a bigger number of people could get to see those messages. When Laura sees the Messanger Dog in her camp, she decides to leave a message for Silvia, saying that she is alive and safe in the camp. When the messages get to the main camp in the district where Silvia is located, she will get to see the message from Laura.

Defining the concept

Sketching the messenger dog uniform

Dog uniform pattern cutting

Thanks to Matt Cottam for the pics.


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